Monday, January 21, 2013

Face Off - Make it Reign

Happy season 4 Face Off fans! It feels like there wasn't quite enough time between the start of this season and the end of last season, but I'm not one to complain about a new season of an awesome show. I love the concept of this show. If you've never seen it, it's a reality competition for special effects artist. Since I'm completely incapable of doing anything like this, I find it all rather amazing. My hair stylist is an a special effects artist and she blows me away.

We meet Alam, or Korea, whichever you prefer, is fresh out of effects school, and that hasn't usually bode well in previous seasons. We meet Michael, or as another recapper called him, Wolverine, who was Matt from season 2's brother.

 Matt was good, and a lot more attractive that his brother. I wouldn't have known they were brothers, so it wasn't really necessary to tell us he's trying to get out from the shadow of his brother, when the shadow isn't as wide as he thinks it is. Wayne is next, self taught, won some award, sort of forgettable. Alex (a gal) is next, she doesn't get much of an intro. And then we get a quick montage of a whole bunch of other people, who apparently aren't quirky, sexy, or weird enough to get much screen time. Megan tells us her ultimate status is to get the level of being Ve Neil. A lofty goal. Ve has done some badass work. I also am super jealous of her that she has practically made a career out of doing special effects make up on Johnny Depp. My heart, be still. She also is working on The Hunger Games series. We then get a load of Eric F who wants to provide for his kids and wife and all those great things. I have to say, WTF is going on with his head/face??
I shouldn't judge, but damn! If you're going bald, just shave it, or something. Then again maybe he's sick or something and I'm a horrible person. But also, maybe he was a meth head at one point and this is what's left. Either way...yikes man. More people walk up and Alex tells us there's all kinds of different people, from jocks to goths.

Mackenzie, or Mac, walks in and as always, I'm in love with her wardrobe. She's a little orange, but I want her wardrobe. There is an assortment of crowns behind her. They're foundation challenge is to create a look based on the crown they pick. There's costumes and shoes and accessories to go along with the make up. Immunity is on the table. She also introduces the judge for the challenge. It's Daddy Westmore! The man is a legend in the special effects world! He also is going to be the mentor this season, which in previous season they haven't had. At least not one consistent person. Glenn (or as I call him, Battlefield Earth, or BE) and Ve would occasionally come in and check in on the artists, but they never really offered much advise, they just would walk around and then whisper in the corner about who they liked/hated. I'm wondering if he'll be a Tim Gunn like character. The contestants are all super excited. Maybe BE and Ve couldn't take the extra time away from Catching Fire to step into the workroom each week. I don't know. I can't imagine it would hurt to have someone give an extra pair or eyes and some advice.

There's a mad dash to pick the crowns. Apparently everyone wanted this black crown, and Alex walked away with it. I guess because it was black, drippy and I guess, creepy? Most of the time special effects make up goes hand in hand with horror movies, so that's what a lot of the artists gravitate towards. The monsters and the dark stuff.

We meet a few more of the artists on a one on one while they're working on their pieces. Autumn is a full time stay-at-home mom. We met Troy, who says he does beauty make up. That's what Megan from season 1 was a specialist in, and I hated her guts. Don't be like Megan, Troy He says, "In the black community, make up is not gangsta". Ha. Silly Troy. His make up doesn't seem to be going where it should be for this type of challenge though. Chris wants to make his queen the queen of scars. He's been working for 15 years, blah blah, I'm already bored with him. Eric Z is 22! 22 years old! WTF he looks like he's at least in his early 30's. But maybe I'm a horrible judge. Jenna tells us that she had ovarian cancer and that her husband left her while she was sick, and that she lost a job. What a dick! Who leaves a woman who has cancer, in the midst of it? Like, "Oh, glad I got to know you, but I'm gonna go now. Good luck with that whole, cancer situation." I hope his wiener falls off. We meet Anthony, and he's my episode 1 pick for the win of the whole season. We meet House, not the Hugh Laurie kind, and he's making a queen of currency. Ok. Autumn tells us she thinks Alex wasted the crown by doing a horrible make up to go with it.
I'm not gonna do screen grabs of everyone's foundation make-ups. That would be a lot. Boring guy shows us that he used red glitter as scars...what? How does that work?
Really? Those are scars. Ok.
Then Eric F, gives me new material for nightmares.
Anthony, proves why he's my number one pick.

Anthony ends up winning because Daddy Warbanks thinks that it could be shot on film right away. The total package. He's also very humble and says thank you every other word. Which is nice, but could get annoying as well. But I'd rather listen to an hour of him saying thank you than a few minutes of a cocky bastard, like Frank was in season 1.

They go off to their residence for the time being. Everyone geeks out at the digs. They all toast each other, and I'm really hoping that somewhere in this group is at least a little bit of a villain. I don't watch these shows to have everyone be friends and lovely.

They go to St John's Cathedral the next day. It's a big deal. Very pretty. I'm not sure what makes one a cathedral vs a regular church, chapel. I don' t know. They find out their spotlight challenge is to create a goblin king. They are put into teams of 2. They have to pick a region (jungle, desert, arctic, etc.) and the region has to reflect in their work. I'm pretty excited about this challenge. It feels like a good one. They could do a lot of things. I'm not sure why they're in a church do to this, but ok. These are the teams and their regions:
Eric F & Jenn: Desert
Michael & Troy: Volcanic
Alex & Wayne: Swamp
Alam & Chris: Forest
Anthony & Meagan: Mountain
Katie & House: Arctic
Eric Z & Autumn: Jungle
We really only see 2 teams take pictures/direct inspiration from the cathedral. So I don't know how much it is going to take part of the actual creations. Alam seems to let Chris take the lead because he has experience. That can be good and bad. Alex and Wayne are both from Florida and they decide the gator is the king of the swamp, so they're goblin will be gator-esque.

They get to the lab and they take a gander at all the supplies. My question is how to do the crew know exactly what to stock for supplies. Is there ever at time where the contestants ask if they have something and they're told no?

Anthony accidentally drops the cast of the model's face that they're working on to build their sculpture on. Meagan pisses and moans already that this could mean her going home, since he has immunity. I find this to be a bit dramatic. The challenge just started. Take a few minutes to think about your options before you pack your bags.

We get a little vignette of Jenna telling us she's trying to sculpt pec muscles and she would like it if she had a picture or a frame of reference, so Eric F tells her she should go find Beefcake and have him take off his shirt. Apparently Beefcake is Wayne. I don't really see it.

Back to Meagan's drama. Meagan walks away whispering to herself she can't believe he dropped it. He didn't do it on purpose, woman! Calm down! Anthony uses some epoxy to fix the nose, and it's freaking perfect. So calm, your, shit. Everyone seems to be moving along. Autumn comes in and gets all high and mighty with Eric Z. She says, "Eric is such a great person to work with. He has no pride, he's completely humble." And then she says to him, "You're such a good boy" literally the way I would say it to my cat, if Faye was a boy. In which case she would've been called Winston.'s completely condescending and it's not missed on Eric Z (which I think stands for zygote since he's so young).  He even says, "What am I? Some dog, here?"

Eric F, now known as Freaky, and Jenn are already onto molding. They're cruising. Does this mean they're exceptionally fast and everyone else is average? Or are they average and everyone else is just slow? Instead of just painting the model's skin a certain way, they're actually making sheets of latex to get the dry and cracked texture they want. That's ambitious in my mind.

Daddy Warbucks and Mac are in the lab to give advice. He gives some small advice to each team. I think it will take some time for him to get fully into the role as mentor. I don't really like that Mac is there with him to watch the mentoring. She doesn't add anything. Part of what makes Tim Gunn an awesome mentor is that he is there, sans Heidi, and spends time with each person and gives them his honest opinion, good or bad so they can get an idea of if they're on the right track. Daddy Warbuck's doesn't really have negatives to say. He only offers the advice to be careful with their paint to is jungle with their wood textures. He's most impressed with the Swamp team, and is a little nervous for team Arctic because ice can be a tricky thing to pull off as authentic. I think in general, all these items would be tricky to make. All of the items they're creating, actually exist.

We have our weekly "Oh no! The mold is stuck! What will happen!" moment with team arctic. Of course they open it and it's all fine and wonderful. Autumn is trying to make her own latex bald cap. She's having problems and tells the camera that she's "fustrated'. Nothing is more frustrating that when someone says fustrated. She goes over by Zygote and is having a meltdown about it and says she just can't do it. So he takes a better plan of action and distracts her with something else. Clearly, he's the voice of reason.

Jenn is painting their sheets of latex to get more depth in the cracks. Freaky has a little moment of fear that it's too dark. We hear him yell, "Jenna!" in this really annoying voice like 5 times. Shame on you editors. She's very confident in what she's doing. Quick sequence of the projects in various stages of completion. Then after the paint dries, Jenna has proved she was right in what she did, it looks great.

Everyone shares feelings and tactics for the last day coming up tomorrow back at the house. Back at the lab we have a lot of painting that's going on. The models come in. And people start to put their applications on. Michael is creating this "crown" for their goblin king. It looks like a huge dunce cap, painted to look like a volcano. It looks awful is what it looks like. Team swamp has ZERO paint on their model. They have the applications on, but not a drop of paint. This is bad. The rest of the teams have been spending the entire day, painting and putting the detailing in. Team volcano isn't doing too well either. They have a chest piece on and a face. The rest of his body is costume/paint free.

Last looks! Team Swamp has 1 hour to get all of their painting done. Can they pack their knives and go? Wrong show? Oh. My bad. Frantic painting, gluing, sweating, and stressing. It's hard to really get a grasp of what anyone's full pieces look like. They all look pretty decent though. I feel like this season is a lot more talented than last season was. Team swamp could be in trouble. They're gator isn't even remotely green. He's grey. Gray? Is there a right answer?

We get our intros to BE, Ve, Neville Page, and *gasp* GIMLI!! John Rhys-Davies. I just finished watching the LOTR Trilogy on blu-ray. I highly recommend if you're a LOTR nerd like me. So I was extra excited to see him.

Team Jungle: I like the look. I think they were successful in making the wood look like real wood. I like that he's got a crown, without it being an actual head piece that's separate from his body. His crown is part of him. Other teams did this as well. 

 Team Desert: I think they're latex skin worked well, but I'm not sure it was super necessary. They probably could've made some latex cracks and just applied those instead of whole sheets. However, I don't really know what I'm talking about. I like the head piece, despite it not being a part of his body, it's definitely a fitting crown.

 Team Swamp: Not good. Bottom three for sure. The coloration is horrible. If they'd spent a few hours on paint, it would be a success. I hate the costume they put on him. That stuff on his chest makes no sense. The face sculpt looks good though. But he's very lack luster.

Team Volcano: Another bottom look. That dunce cap covers his whole face. Which, I guess, isn't horrible since his face isn't very good either. He's also completely caped. Dude is wearing a full chest piece, and they hid it.

Team Arctic: I like this look. They always talk about how using a silicone application is great for translucency and a skin like texture. They got the translucency. It looks icy and frigid. Much like the weather outside here. Wind chills between 18-25 below zero. Hello, Wisconsin in January!

Team Mountain: Another awesome Anthony piece. Oh, and Meagan too. I love that half of his face hasn't completely transformed over into rock yet. The paint job is awesome. The sculpt is great. Top three, if not winner.

Last, Team Forest: Safe. They had a good idea. But I feel like they covered up his face with all those pine needles. It's not amazing, but it's not worthy of a ticket home either.

The judges come up and inspect. The models turn their heads, move their mouths, and in general stare. I always feel bad for the models. What if your make up job sucks. It would be hard to sell it. One thing I love about these judges, is they're not afraid to be mean and honest. Battlefield Earth is sometimes just a dick for the sake of being a dick. Ve is sort of motherhen-ish, but she also is willing to call them on their shit. I love when she gets excited. Mac knows her job as a host on a show and she does it very well. Other hosts should take note *Heidi I'm looking at you* Teams forest and ice are named as safe. I would've put ice in the top three.

John Rhys-Davis compliments team mountain by saying he would be happy to wear that make up. And then stops and corrects himself by saying, "What am I saying? I will NEVER wear another prosthetic piece in my life, but were I young and mad, I'd be happy to be seen in that." I adore him. Top team.

Team volcano gets yelled at for covering up the chest piece. Ve shames them for the face and "clown hat". JRD says it's more like two people went on their own and made pieces and came together and put it on a guy and said, oops. He also calls red, crimson. So sophisticated, the classic Brits. Bottom team.

Team desert give themselves an 8 out of 10 for their piece. The judges are happy. Ve is head over heels for the gold paint/wire/nipple ring that ties unity throughout the piece. JRD says he can feel the parched-ness from the skin. Top team.

Team swamp describe their gator theme. JRD asks if that's the color gators are, because he's not familiar with American gators. I have to think for a minute if gators are solely American. I guess they are. We always here that they're from the dinosaurs or that they're some of the oldest animals on the planet. I guess I never thought about them only being here. They're certainly not in the Thames, that's for sure. I checked when I was over there. No dice. They get scolded for the lack of paint detailing. Ve hates the chest piece too. I knew we'd be best of friends. They said they gave themselves 40 minutes to paint. WHAT? That's insane. They judges all shake their head in disgust. Bottom team.

Team jungle says they were "stuck" with team jungle. A cop out answer in my mind. Autumn is preparing to be on the bottom. Neville is thrilled that they used knots from wood as the ears for their piece. They get the least time in front of the judges. Top team.

A rehash of what we just heard. I'm wondering if Mac ever gets a say in who stays and who goes. There are usually 4 judges on panel. If there is a tie, does she get to vote? Or is it just down to the producers? Does anyone know? And the winner is....

Team Mountain! With Anthony taking the win. A double win for him! Go Anthony! Super pumped. If you're expecting objective reactions, you should just stop now.

Person going home....Troy. Oh no! Troy was actually funny. And we're back to lacking any real diversity on the show. Ah well. One thing I love about the verdict, is they're usually pretty good about just cutting the weak link first. No, "you're safe, you're safe" kind of stuff.

What do you think? Are you happy with the selection of artists for this season? What did you think of the challenge? Is anyone else plotting to steal Mac's wardrobe? See you next week!

1 comment:

  1. I very much agree that this season has a much higher amount of skill. I was blown away by the looks this week, all of them! Even team volcano, because lets face it team swamp was an amazing sculpt (just needed the time for paint, had some decent ideas in there and would have been kind of mediocre model in previous seasons. I love that it seemed really hard to pick the bottoms. Volcano clearly had to be in the bottom though. AndyeahIloveAnthony. I wonder if he's single. I have a crush on him <3